No matter where you are in my town, it only takes about a five minute drive, at 35mph, to get to any other location in my town. My little corner of rural casino hell is just that small. From my house to the grocery store is about a minute. My house to the school is three minutes. My house to the liquor store is three minutes too. One side of town to the other, five minutes tops.
This is why it's positively absurd that there is a traffic jam in my town every weekday at 3 pm.
That's when school gets out.
And that's when every parent in the school parking lot, except for me, wants out of that parking lot at 3:05. So they can get home five minutes later. Maybe they don't want to miss ten minutes worth of Judge Judy or Dr. Pheel. I don't know.
What I do know is that picking your kids up at school is a competitive and aggressive sport. Getting your vehicle maneuvered around the other vehicles so you can get up to the school exit at 4 minutes after the hour requires a helmet, a mouth guard and a cup.
I've seen women come to blows right in the parking lot over whose nose was mere inches further out than the other's. I'm not joking. Screaming and closed fists. Crass names for female parts. Educational.
Driving in a way that is mindful of not running over small children? Whoever heard of such a thing! Just Let. Me. OUTTA HERE!
The school has organized the parking lot and exits the best it can. There is always a teacher who directs the flow of kids and cars and two others on crossing guard duty. I hope those teachers are getting hazard pay. I hope they get funding for their own helmets and mouth guards.
So, after waiting for the school to empty of traffic, middle fingers, and children, I start my engine and leave without any dents in my bumper at 3:10.
I wonder what all those other parents do with the five minutes they save.
They probably spit shine their cups.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
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